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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

Volume 1 Issue 2
January, 2002

=> Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!

=> Important News and Useful Links - AMCAS 2002, Dr. Cohen AAMC Admissions Reform?, and Rural Medicine                                                    

=> Dates and Reminders - CUHRE Conference in San Diego

=> Important People and Schools - Cornell University in Qatar

=> Success Story of the Month - Re-application

=> Question of the Month - Why Official Transcripts?

=> Focus on a Health Profession - Primary Care Medicine

=> Our Services

=> Contact



Welcome to Lewis Associates!

Congratulations to the Class of 2001 advised by Dr. Lewis! We had 94% acceptance for our premedical applicants all over the U.S.!

Happy New Year! Can you believe it is already 2002? We remember when the "Millenium Bug" was a concern to the computer world. In fact, we remember a lot farther back than that -but suffice it to say that time marches on. Do you make resolutions? If you want to change your career or reach your career goal, but do not know how to begin or how to jump all those hurdles, Lewis Associates can implement strategies that will change your life.

Developing YOU to your potential is our goal, and people are our "most important product." Dr. Cynthia Lewis has been advising Pre-health students with an overall acceptance rate of 85% since 1985. Lewis Associates was launched in 1998 to provide long-term personalized advising services to students across North America, specializing in Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Dentistry, Physician Assistant and Veterinary Medicine. Our success is real. You may be like our Advisees-highly motivated and intelligent, but needing focus, guidance and specific technical expertise. Dr. Lewis is a trained biologist, having taught and directed her own research programs for many years at two universities. She received two postdoctoral fellowships (one at NIH) and received the 1990 NACADA Outstanding Institutional Advising Program in the U.S. She teaches Professionalism, Leadership and Quality and sets high standards for her Advisees.



n e w s a n d l i n k s

N E W S :

"AMCAS 2002"

"Emotionally bruised, but still together, AMCAS achieves 30th Anniversary with Partner medical schools"
Begun as an application service in 1971, the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) has assisted its 116 partner schools and programs with applications to 30 entering classes and literally hundreds of thousands of applicants

While relationships between AMCAS and its partner medical schools have generally been stable over time, and sometimes even happy, mature observers can recall some rough patches through the years. There was the "seven year itch" - in 1978 - that resulted in serious, in-depth, and ultimately successful therapy during the application cycle for the 1979 entering class. And, of course, this part year when AMCAS, in the middle of a mid-life crisis, gave itself what it believed would be a performance-enhancing Web-based make-over, conflict has been caused, both in the community and at home. Promises were made, but were difficult to keep. Mindful of its reputation, the pain that has been caused, and the need to return to fulfilling its partners' expectations, AMCAS has again seen the need for a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and a course of serious therapy with experts in the field. The arduous self-assessment process has begun, and AMCAS has resolved to both improve its future performance and repair its long-standing and trusting relationships with partner institutions and progeny.

Above reported in the AAMC Group on Student Affairs Hot Topics Newspaper (November 2001)

Report from AMCAS-Statistics for Class of 2002 Nancy Tillinghast, Director

AMCAS Status Report Data (11/23/01)

Number of Persons initiating applications on-line: 42,224
Number of Applicants submitting completed applications to AMCAS: 30,549
Number of applicants for whom application(s) have been verified: 24,918
Number of Applicants for whom verified applications have been printed and FedExed to medical schools: 16,050
Average number of schools applied to per applicant: 11

The applicant numbers for 2001 recently released by the AAMC represent the *national* applicant pool(applicants to non-AMCAS schools as well as AMCAS schools). Looking at AMCAS applicants only, the comparative data for applications is as follows:

32,128 as of 12/1/2000
30,962 as of 11/30/2001
1,166 decline (3.6 per cent)

"Dr. Cohen Proposes Medical Education Reforms"

AAMC President Jordan J. Cohen, M.D., included in his address to the 112th AAMC Annual Meeting:
"To entice the best and the brightest students in the nation to consider a career in medicine, Dr. Cohen offered a plan to alter the way medical schools currently choose their incoming classes" A way which, according to Dr. Cohen, over-emphasizes test scores and under-emphasizes personal characteristics. Dr. Cohen suggested that schools begin student screening with an assessment of personal characteristics, use standardized test scores only as threshold measures, and use past experiences to improve their ability to identify promising students.

Dr. Cohen also enjoined the medical education community to examine carefully the manner in which it acculturates students and residents to medical practice. "No matter how successful we are in attracting idealistic, properly motivated students to medicine now or in the future," said Dr. Cohen, "we have little hope of delivering the same number of idealistic, properly motivated doctors to society unless we can close the gap between rhetoric and reality."

Source: Nicole Henderson, AAMC Office of Communications, http://www.aamc.org/newsroom/pressrel/011104a.htm.

L I N K S :

Rural Medicine Website

Compilation of items of interest to students hoping to become rural doctors. Dr. Bowman indicates that he will soon add email questions from medical students with answers by rural physicians and faculty.


There is advice there for premeds, college students, and medical students.

Robert C. Bowman, M.D, rbowman@unmc.edu
Co-Chairman, Rural Medical Educators Group of the National Rural Health Assn, UNMC Dept of Family Medicine, Director of Rural Health Education and Research



d a t e s

C O N F E R E N C E S:

(HCOP) CUHRE 12th Annual Alumni Conference: "Communication in Medicine"
February 9th, 2002, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Casa Real, Aztec Center, San Diego State University

Register with Chris Scott, Chair (sdsupro@netscapet.net)

Cost: $10 non-CUHRE member, lunch included. First 100 students will be registered.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ted Ganiats is professor and vice-chair of the department of family and preventive medicine at the UCSD School of Medicine and the Executive Director of the UCSD Health Outcomes Assessment Program. Dr. Ganiats did his undergraduate work at UC Davis and all of his medical training at UC San Diego. He has been the Chief of the UCSD Division of Family Medicine and has chaired the Commission on Clinical Policies and Research for the American Academy of Family Physicians. He has participated on over 20 national clinical practice guidelines with over 100 publications. His main research interests are in quality of life measurement and cost-effectiveness.

Confirmed speakers include:
Theodore Miller, M.D. Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, Drew-UC Los Angeles School of Medicine
Raymond Hruby, D.O. Chair, Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Department, Western University of Health Sciences
Eric Goldlust, M.D. PhD candidate at UC San Diego School of Medicine, Kaplan Representative
Charles Lu (Alumnus) Medical Student Year 4, UC San Francisco School of Medicine
Donna Ni (Alumna Medical Student Year 2, Western University, College of Osteopathic Medicine
Norma Ramirez (Alumna) Dental Student Year 2, Case Western University Dental School
Karen Babcock Nern, M.D. (Alumna) Dermatology Resident year 3 at UC San Diego
Robert Carpenter, D.O. (Alumnus), Naval Flight Surgeon Training, Florida
Physician TBA from St. George's University School of Medicine



p e o p l e & s c h o o l s

C O R N E L L U N I V E R S I T Y Medical School Report:

Cornell Will Open a Medical School in the Persian Gulf

New York Times - "In one of the biggest deals yet in the growing export of American higher education, Cornell University is establishing a branch campus of its medical school in the Middle East, where students will receive the same diploma as those 6,700 miles away in New York City. Cornell announced that it will create the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in Qatar, a tiny, wealthy Persian Gulf nation that has agreed to spend $750 million on the school over 11 years, including a fee to Cornell."

"Cornell's medical college is among the most selective in the United States. This year's entering students -101 in all&Mac246; were chosen from 6,344 applicants and had a 3.7 grade point average on their science courses in college. Cornell is aiming for an entering class of about 50 students in Qatar, drawn from there and other countries, within the Arab world and without."




s u c c e s s s t o r y

A M A N D A   H O W E L L - Entering Class 2002:

Dr. Lewis' Note: Amanda is the youngest of three children. She has lived all over the Pacific Islands, Hawaii and in California. In an essay she once wrote she says, "I was skimming through an article, in Time magazine about multiracial children in America. I thought finally, people are starting to realize there are many kids who do not fit the 'White,' 'Black,' 'Hispanic' or 'Asian' categories. When I get to the question about racial background, I hesitate every time, deciding whether to fill in the 'White,' 'Pacific Islander,' or 'Other' box. Being Samoan, German, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish. I keep asking the question, 'What are you Amanda?'"

In Fiji, Amanda's love for learning was ignited at a British Chinese School named Yat Sen where she studied two years of Chinese. At Yat Sen she says, "I learned one of my most valuable lessons: "No whining allowed; do what you have to do." I had this revelation while I was cleaning the toilets of my school. Yes, the toilets! Yat Sen had only a few maintenance men to tend to the school. All the janitorial and classroom cleaning was done by the students. The students in the primary school were separated into cleaning teams that rotated from cleaning the toilets, picking up weeds, or cleaning the classroom, including mopping. In America, this practice would be illegal, but at Yat Sen it is common. Hard work like that made me tougher."

Ever since having her appendix removed as a small child in Hawaii, Amanda wanted to become a doctor. She graduated in Spring 2000 Magna Cum Laude in chemistry. Amanda's extracurricular activities demonstrated strong motivation to become a physician. She volunteered for ICU duty at one hospital and in a pediatrics wards in another. She worked in Mexico with the Flying Samaritans and as a phlebotomy technician. Thus, Amanda is knowledgeable about aspects of medical practice. She held a number of offices in student organizations and conducted tutorial sessions to help younger pre-health students master their classes. She did all of these activities while holding down jobs and conducting a chemistry senior research project. She even acted in a summer play.

Her words give you a real sense of who Amanda is: "It was cloudy and windy, the day the International Outrigger Canoe competition took place in Suva Harbor, Fiji. After winning the 500-meter race, my team was sitting in our canoe awaiting the start signal for the 1000-meter race. Sitting in the middle called the engine, I extended my arm so my paddle could achieve the greatest pull distance. While feeling the cold air hit my face and tasting the salt on my lips, my heart was racing. The signal came and the race was on."

Reapplying -- Agony and Hope by Amanda Howell

"When it came to reapplying to medical school a second time, it was a no-brainer for me. Of course I would reapply! Since, I graduated in June 2000, I had a whole year to reapply and do other fun stuff. My happy beginning to reapplying, though, turned out to be a few months filled with feelings of agony and hope.

As a freshman in college, I studied hard, volunteered, and became a leader in Collegiate Union for Health-Related Education. I thought with my great grades, experience living in Samoa, Fiji, Guam, Saipan, and Hawaii, and my extra-curricular activities, I was all set to apply to all the top schools in the nation. However, the MCAT showed me different. Taking the MCAT two times was trying on my psyche and on my body (late night Flammin' Hot Cheetos and Pepsi don't just dissipate into thin air). The MCAT proved to be my Achilles Heel. When applying, my high GPA juxtaposed against the average MCAT scores drew red flags from admissions offices. The first time, the 30 schools that I applied to did not invite me to one interview. Well, without any hesitation, I steamed ahead, reapplied (with Dr. Lewis' help) and took the MCAT for a third time.

The routine the second time around was familiar, but more taxing on my emotions. Some days, I had unwavering hope, the others--agony. However, my year off afforded an opportunity of free time to pursue other interests. These new pursuits and accomplishments I included, under the guidance and insistence of Dr. Lewis, in an update letter to the admissions committees. These other interests, like writing a screenplay, broadened my perspective. I saw something new in myself that intrigued the admissions committees. I got four interviews and was waitlisted at two schools. I waited for three months, not knowing what was to become of my life. Prayer, faith, and a resolve that all will work out, helped me get through those trying months. When the window of opportunity was closing, I made plans to reapply in another two years, or apply to grad school or find a "Bio-Tech" job, all the while hoping for acceptance to medical school. The window eventually closed on August 14th and I was in agony. All my dreams, all my hard work was for nothing. Well, so I had thought. At the end of August, 2001, I was accepted to Medical College of Wisconsin with a one-year deferral. The year of applying a second time was hard, but what I learned about myself remains priceless.

I encourage those who did not get in the first time to try again. Life is long, don't give up too easily or too quickly!"



q u e s t i o n o f t h e m o n t h

Why order and review an "official" copy of your transcript(s) before submitting your application?

We have a very good example this year of what can "go wrong". One of our applicants for the dental school entering class of 2002 attended one school for his entire undergraduate degree, then took one course at another school as an unclassified post baccalaureate student. He earned an A in that last class - or so the faculty told him. It was a team-taught class, with three faculty, each giving and grading an exam. One exam was missing and the final grade was given verbally to the student by one of the faculty. The grade came out an an "Incomplete" on the transcript (either because the faculty did not submit it or due to an error by the Admissions and Records Office). However, the student assumed that the faculty had "told him the correct information about his grade". And, he put "A" on his AADSAS application form. He was very surprised when Dr. Lewis in discussing his application with a dental school was told that the transcript had and "I" and the AADSAS indicated an "A". So, don't take any chances!!!

We will feature an important question each month. Please submit one that interests you for Dr. Lewis to answer. Send your questions to drlewis@lewisassoc.com



h e a l t h p r o f e s s i o n

P R I M A R Y   C A R E   M E D I C I N E :

"My concept of medical school is changing. It seems that students can hold up so far, before they cave in and go for more limited areas of medicine, such as a subspecialty. As medical education continues to face challenges from changes in care of the indigent and liability problems, there is less access to patients and students do not get to make decisions. This passive education keeps students from maturing and advancing in medicine. More mature and advanced students will see the importance of physician relationships with patients and populations and the powers that be. Less mature students carve out a smaller niche with a defined subset of knowledge and relationships.

Primary care is more challenging. Cures are usually not possible, or rare. Long-term care is common. Successes are often unseen and un-rewarded. Students who choose primary care are usually older, married, etc. Primary care has a very small part of the medical curricula- so small as to actually overwhelm students. It takes 6 months of primary care rotations to become comfortable with it in studies in students spending 9 months in their M-3 year in rural Minnesota. At 3 months these students were overwhelmed with the complexity of primary care. Most medical schools a lot closer to 3 months and almost none come close to the minimal 6 months noted in the study (Verby, RPAP, Minnesota).

Overall cancer mortality dropped for the first time in studies by the National Cancer Institute and reported in Primary Care and Cancer Jan 1997. These studies noted a 2.6% drop in mortality in a 5 year period. The report attributes much of the success in reducing cancer to declines in smoking beginning in 1965. All of these are wonderful advances and yet the reason for improvements are not cures, but changes in lifestyle. The front lines for cancer (and heart disease, adolescent health problems, mental health, etc.) are not cures and specialists and research. The front lines are primary care people who deal with deferred gratification, care for the elderly, do mental health, etc.

COGME studies continue to note that these are the specialties in most need in medicine. Considering that we do not select for these in medical students, this is not a surprise. Things like emotional IQ are more difficult to measure, short of trained interviews and more detailed gathering of info from direct observers of the students qualities.

In many ways, I really like college advisors as an objective resource for helping to determine these qualities and I wish that more medical schools worked in collaboration with college advisors to help them choose better forks, those with service orientation, emotional IQ, and have passed the tests of deferred gratification."

Robert C. Bowman, M.D, rbowman@unmc.edu
Co-Chairman, Rural Medical Educators Group of the National Rural Health Assn, UNMC Dept of Family Medicine Director of Rural Health Education and Research

lewis associates advising services

Lewis Associates specializes in personal, effective and professional premedical advising and placement for traditional and non-traditional applicants. Often, non-traditional students are older than 21 years of age, career changers, international applicants or second-round applicants for admission to health professions school.

Lewis Associates' services meet the needs of all types of students from pre-applicants to applicants, including hourly advising support for specific needs. Click here.


"It's never too late to be who you might have been."

If this is how YOU feel, then, maybe Lewis Associates is the place for you. Lewis Associates provides Mentoring and Coaching through the rigorous and often circuitous pre-health preparation and application process. Other consultants may support programs like Law and Business or graduate school -- not Lewis Associates. We are the experts in Health Professions based on 23 years of a successful track record.

Call or email today to set your first appointment!

805.226.9669 imaclewis@lewisassoc.com

Copyright 2009, Lewis Associates. All rights reserved. Please do not repost on any website without direct permission from Lewis Associates.

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